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Beneath the Embroidered Brocade 60 The Attempt at Flamboyance

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Gan Tian Chi entered the hunter's shed once more. This time, he rummaged through the clothing that was left there, it was in a short amount of time that he found what he was searching for.

"Found it!" He muttered to himself as he pulled out a large cloak and some spare clothes from a trunk that was left in the hunter's shed. It was probably left there for extra warmth, in case someone stayed here at night. But now, it was his to use in whichever way he pleased.

He brought out dark colored robes and began to dress the creation he recently made from straw. Thanks to the movable joints, he was able to place the straw limbs into the clothing quite quickly and with ease.

There was also a waterproof hat made from dried leaves that covered a person's head quite well and it was placed upon the figure.

The eves of the dried leaves, though now browned still retained a tint of green from the leaves of which it was originally made. The slightest tint of a vibrant color allowed this figure to gain a bit of life, in contrast to the baggy and dark robes that covered its lifeless straw body.

Its eyes shone brightly from underneath the darkness of the hat, making it seem as though there was a slight breath of life that existed from that lifeless pile of straw.

Satisfied with what he created, Gan Tian Chi stretched his muscles and went into the shed, leaving his creation out under the moonlight, accompanied by darkness and the cold winds howling in the air.

~

Within the border town, the night was as cold as always, there were a few stray leaves spinning in circles from the vortex of the winds. Soon, the winds dissipated, becoming a strong and fierce wind that could chill a person to the bone. The leaves too and disappeared back into the fridge night.

Yet, deep within the Hundred Flower Hall, Wang Bo was sitting in a private room that was simply too flashy to put into words…

The walls were painted with auspicious colors of red and gold. There were paintings of flowers that were a bright and eye-catching yellow. The vases gazed with gold, but its old material of cheap metals still shone through as bright as day, more like a pauper's attempt to look as flamboyant as possible, but didn't quite succeed. There was also a preserved wolf's head that was fixed firmly upon a wall, of red. Its dead glassy eyes seemed to follow one around as though it was still the great predator it once was. Also, there were multiple preserved birds that were strung up to mimic that of birds flying in the wild. They too had dead glassy eyes, and when a slight breeze blew, the string would rattle, giving an illusion of the birds coming back to life.

Everything about this room was unsettling, from the vases that looked like it should belong in a rich and noble household, to the wolf that seemed to belong in a bandit's den, or the birds that should have been in a collection at a place of wonders. It was only the walls that seemed to belong in a brothel.

Though every available braizer was burning at the same time, Wang Bo still felt chills when sitting in this room alone. He wondered where madam Lu was, if she was going to make an appointment with him at six, then she should come at six and not leave him waiting.

Yet it was now eight. He had been sitting here for a full two hours, and the shadow of madam Lu was nowhere to be seen.

[Just what is that wretched woman thinking, to stand him up and make him wait for two hours in this room?]

Wang Bo now had a belly full of anger, yet not a place to vent it.

When he heard the door open and saw madam Lu walk in with a calm expression as though she did not keep him waiting for two hours, his anger reached its peak.

"What is the meaning of this?" He raised his voice.

"What?" She asked with a face full of innocence. Seemingly trying to mimic that of a young girl, but no matter what, it would never have the same effect, for she was now no different from a chicken trying to pass off as a peacock.

"You made me wait for two hours." Wang Bo spat as he stared daggers into her phoenix eyes.

"Oh, Did I?" she pondered for a moment, "I told you to meet me here at eight. Yes, I am a few minutes late, but it is you who came too early. Perhaps the servants made a mistake when they delivered the message to you." Madam Lu pushed all the faults onto the servants, who did nothing but lower their heads and beg for forgiveness.

How could Wang Bo not know what madam Lu was attempting to do? He looked at the servants who had lowered their heads. How could he not know that without an order from her, they would never dare to do something like this.

"You…" Wang Bo could feel his anger reach his head giving him a headache. He took a few deep breaths and sat back down to calm his heart rate which had suddenly spiked up due to his rage. There was a tightness in his chest that came as a consequence of that pounding heart.

Upon remembering why he was here, his anger dissipated to an empty hole.

A forced smile appeared on his face, making him seem even more dreadful, as he said: "I came early, now can we get to why you asked for this meeting."

"Of course." She answered. She then shifted her gaze to the servants who had already lowered their heads, "You all can leave." She ordered.

The servants bowed before they exited, closing the doors behind them, and scurrying off as far as possible. Leaving only Wang Bo and madam Lu within the small ill decorated room.
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